Judge Makes Sure Autistic Man Can’t Get Out of Jail


By Larkin White

SACRAMENTO – Although an autistic man—accused of brandishing a boxcutter at a store employee—didn’t have the means to pay any bail, a Sacramento County Superior Court judge wanted to make sure he’d stay in jail anyway and set bail at $500,000.

Judge Patrick Marlette suggested he did Bailey Stamcombe, a 22-year-old autistic man, a favor by reducing the $1 million bail schedule to a half million dollars, even though the court was informed Stamcombe doesn’t have any resources.

As shown by the security footage, Stamcombe was going through empty boxes behind a gun store when an employee came outside and told him to leave. Stamcombe packed up his items and walked away, but the employee claims that while doing so he threatened to stab him and slash his tires.

Stamcombe is pleading not guilty.

During Thursday’s bail review, Deputy District Attorney Spencer Rajabzadeh pointed out that the video shows him brandishing what appears to be a boxcutter.

Yet Assistant Public Defender Maura de la Rosa asserted that not included in the police report is that when the employee came outside and told him to leave, the employee threatened to shoot Stamcombe. According to her, Stamcombe’s words and actions were meant to prevent the employee from shooting.

This defense held little sway with Judge Marlette, whose attitude was heavily influenced by the defendant’s history, including an arrest in 2016 when Stamcombe was only 18. He received a strike for robbery when he and two other people assaulted someone and stole their cellphone.

Two years later, he was charged with felony vandalism and criminal threats. He was in a bowling alley when, as Rajabzadeh put it, he went “ballistic on one of the bowling alley employees.” He threatened to shoot the employee, reaching into his pocket before going outside and vandalizing a number of cars.

“He got his break,” said Rajabzadeh. “He’s not getting another one in this case.”

De la Rosa requested zero-dollar bail because Stamcombe is unable to afford anything. He relies on support from his family nearby, the California Preparatory School, a school for autistic people, and a clinic run out of Mercy San Juan.

Notably, his autism was mentioned only twice by de la Rosa, both times as tangential details. Neither Rajabzadeh nor Judge Marlette touched on it at all.

Stamcombe, wearing an orange jumpsuit and mask, stood quietly in the defendant’s cage throughout the bail review. Judge Marlette and the two lawyers appeared over Zoom, where the three of them had already gone through a number of cases that morning.

Stamcombe’s preliminary hearing is set for Sept. 10.

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About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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